American HS student -> UK uni chances

Hi reader,

I’m currently an American student studying @ a prestigious + competitive high school. Unfortunately, I took some wrong turns through my HS career and ended up with an abysmal GPA, though my performance on the SATs are satisfactory. I was led to believe UK universities don’t look @ GPA, which would make applying for those my best chance of getting into a competitive institution.

I’m currently looking at:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • King’s College London

I’ll be applying for the Business Management course in the aforementioned universities.

My stats:

GPA: ~2.0 (will definitely graduate though)

SAT-R: 1420 (720 English, 700 Math)

SAT II World History: 700

SAT II Biology: 740

SAT II US History: 700+ predicted

SAT II Math I: 700+ predicted

SAT II Literature: 700+ predicted

I additionally have pretty formidable extracurriculars relevant to Business Management.

What are my chances?

Go to each university’s page for the business management course and look at entry requirements.

For example, Edinburgh is asking for A Levels: AAA - ABB.

An A at A Level = 5 on AP and 800 on SAT Subject Test.

I understand that SAT Subject Tests are not considered as good as APs, and APs are not as good as A Levels.

Glasgow is lower at ABB - BBB but Kings wants A*AA.

You are very likely to be offered a place but it is likely conditional on your next set of SAT Subject Tests, as you only currently have 2 and they want 3. They WILL look your GPA and SAT score too, they won’t totally discard it. Will they be more lenient because of your American dollars? Maybe…

I heard Edinburgh doesn’t look @ high school transcript… are you certain they look @ GPA? If they see my 2.0, I might as well use the UCAS spot on another university.

Actually, Edinburgh will accept the OPs stats:

SAT score of 1290+ (650+ in Evidence based reading and Writing and 620+ in Math) plus two AP scores at 4+ or two SAT subject tests at 650+

Ofc, that just makes the OP ‘competitive’ - it doesn’t guarantee a place.

Where Edi’s standard offer is AAB for Business Management, King’s is A*AA, which translates to 720, 700, 700 in three SAT Subject tests and 1380 in the SAT-R, with a minimum of 620 in Maths and 650 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing in one sitting.

As @CollegeMamb0 pointed, out for either of these, any offer would definitely be conditional.

Glasgow is AAB, which they align with SAT: 1280 AND 2 SAT subject tests (in relevant subjects): 600+

OP, I don’t know what your ‘wrong turns’ were, and I love a good come-back story, but just in case it is relevant: if your academic issues had to do with self-discipline or motivation, be sure that maturity has worked it’s magic and you have sorted that out. The UK system is unforgiving: most or all of your grades will be based on a single end of year cumulative exam in each class you have taken.

While the GPA per se is not considered, don’t forget you need a teacher recommendation, which may well draw on your past study practices. So select carefully!

I got the teacher recommendation covered, I’m just concerned that they’ll look @ my GPA and immediately trash my application.

You don’t need to put the GPA in the application if applying through UCAS. Just standardised test scores.